Money is the question for Fernley's efforts to become a city

YERINGTON - The balance sheet for Fernley's potential cityhood will be reviewed next month by Lyon County commissioners to determine whether the move is financially feasible.

Commissioners have until July 17 to set an election date to allow voters in Fernley to have the final say on converting the town into an incorporated city.

The incorporation issue likely will be on the November general election ballot for Fernley residents.

The Fernley Incorporation Committee since September has followed the precise rules and timelines to take each step in the incorporation process. The committee has stressed a need for the growing community to be able to make decisions for itself instead of relying on the county commission in Yerington.

"Assessed valuation is the motor, planning and zoning is the steering wheel and growth is the speed," said Debra Brazell, who chairs the incorporation committee. "Right now we have the motor and the speed but we don't have a very good steering wheel. That's why we need to incorporate as a city."

The incorporation process included several public hearings and a ruling from the state local government finance panel that deemed the proposal to turn Fernley into a city financially feasible.

This state ruling, however, did not delve into line-by-line dollar figures. County staff members in the next few weeks will try to pin down financial details that the commission will use in issuing its opinion.

"There needs to be more research on money," said Commission Chairman LeRoy Goodman, a Fernley resident who supports the incorporation effort.

The County Commission in recent weeks met twice with the Fernley community to hear concerns and opinions about incorporation.

"We were hearing concerns of financial feasibility," Commissioner Phyllis Hunewill said. "I believe the voters need that information. People want local government but their biggest concern is, financially is it feasible?"

Commissioner Bob Milz said two primary issues that need to be resolved are roads and the sheriff's department. The incorporation committee has proposed contracting with the Lyon County Sheriff's Department to provide law enforcement instead of establishing a city police department.


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